Ms. Roth is ready for her close-up – “Divergent” by Veronica Roth

December 27, 2013 at 8:17 pm 2 comments

“Divergent” by Veronica Roth, Published in 2011

Writing science fiction is tough. Scratch that, writing good science fiction is tough.  If the writer is creating a whole different world for the reader then there has to be a lot of extra care and quality writing to make sure the reader understands the setting, the society, the technology.  Without good descriptive writing, the reader is just guessing and that can get, well, annoying.  Let’s just get down to it, Ms. Roth wrote “Divergent” so it could be a movie.  Not only was she riding the “Hunger Games” hype (kudos to her) but she was obviously hoping that the ride would take her book into movie production. And yippee it is  – March 2014 coming to a theater near you. But you see Ms. Roth forgot to actually write anything but a character story. While I am aware this is young adult fiction, even for this genre her writing is shallow.  I have no idea how anything looks in this new world.  It is like “Twilight” meets the “Hunger Games” meets some CW show.  Was it enjoyable? Sure. Was it something I would recommend? Not really, unless you have read every book on your “to read” list and have nothing else in the house and are terribly, terribly bored.

Beatrice is a teen living in a futuristic society (Chicago years from now). This society is divided into five factions and each faction has a strength or focus – one is bravery, one is truth, one is knowledge, and I think you get the picture.  While each child grows up in a particular faction, when they reach 16 years old they are tested to determine what faction would best fit them. However on the day of appointment, the teen can decide which faction they would like to join, not necessarily based on the test results.  Once you make a choice to change factions your new family is your new faction and you leave your old life and family behind.  Beatrice’s test is inconclusive and so she is something very dangerous – divergent.  But she still must make the choice of whether to stay with her family and remain selfless or change factions and head into the unknown *insert dramatic music*.

Perhaps most notably, Ms. Roth gives us some tips on writing in the back of the book. This was her first book and she already had writing tips for us small folk.  I read them. Apparently I too can dream of someday writing a book about a strong teen girl who doesn’t fit in but is special and falls in love and saves the world. Or something along those lines.  I will call it “The Twilight Games,” make it a trilogy, and get a movie deal.  I am pretty sure that is what Ms. Roth was trying to tell me…I could be wrong.


Entry filed under: December 2013 reads. Tags: , , , , .

Beauty wedded to meaning – “The Goldfinch” by Donna Tartt Water, water everywhere – “We are Water” and “Beach Music”

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Cecelia Bishman  |  December 28, 2013 at 3:57 pm

    Good response to the many authors writing not good literature but the next movie blockbuster. They do a disservice to those of us looking to enjoy a book for the joy and wonder the written word can provide.

    • 2. Emily C  |  January 8, 2014 at 3:38 pm

      I agree:).


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There is some great literature out there, but there is a lot of bad literature as well. We shouldn't all have to read it. These are my recommendations and thoughts about the books I read.


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